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“Consent under misconception of fact has to be in proximity of time of occurrence: SC acquits man of rape on false promise of marriage.”

As per Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code, consent gained under misrepresentation of facts is illegal, the Supreme Court has stated that such misrepresentation has to be in nearness of the incident and not “stretched over a period of four years.”

To lay down the facts, a man from the Schedule Tribe community was in a relationship with a Christian girl. The couple was together for years, after which the boy was set to marry another woman. A week before the marriage, the woman lodged a complaint claiming that she was raped on the false promise of marriage. A trial court in Ranchi convicted the man. After the conviction was upheld by the High Court, the appellant approached the Supreme Court. It was also noted that the examination of the accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was automatic in nature.

The Supreme Court then proceeded to deal with, whether the complaint complied to the physical relationship under any misconception of fact was with regard to the promise of marriage by the appellant. It was even accepted that she was treated well by the parents of the boy and was beaten up by her own parents for her affair. But in spite of all this, the romance continued without lodging of any FIR.

Explaining the point of law, the Court noted that under Section 90 IPC, consent given under a misconception of fact is no consent in the eyes of law.

Under Section 90 IPC a consent given under fear of injury is not a consent in the eyes of law. In the facts of the present case it is not influenced to accept the unsocial statement.

The Court thus held that the appellant had not made any false promise of marriage as the woman herself knew of all the obstacles in the relationship but still continued to carry on. The conviction of the appellant was found to be unsustainable, and was thus set aside.



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